INFORMATION RELEASE: Updates on Yoho Town Hall Event
Time and Location
The town hall will be held March 4, 2017 at 10:00 AM (Countryside Baptist Church – 10926 NW 39th Ave, Gainesville, FL 32606). Gates will open at 8:30 AM and doors will open at 9:00am. However, arriving at that time will not guarantee admission to the event. There is limited parking on church grounds, but overflow parking is available. Florida Highway Patrol will direct traffic and assist with parking.
The venue will hold 300 people at capacity, so a place in line does not guarantee entry to the event. No preference will be given based on party or church affiliation. The congressman’s office staff has guaranteed that the only church member in attendance will be the sound engineer. This is truly a first lined up, first admitted scenario.
Admission to the Venue
Upon arrival at the entrance to the venue, please check in with the welcome table and present a state photo ID. This ID must have your address on it. The purpose of checking IDs is two-fold. The first is to ensure that residents within the 3rd Florida congressional district have access to the town hall. The second is to ensure the security of Representative Yoho, his staff, the volunteers from the Gainesville community, and all attendees at the town hall.
Town Hall Meeting Format
Representative Yoho has agreed to a semi-moderated town hall format. Unfortunately, and contrary to earlier agreements, the congressman has decided to not answer any questions that were submitted using the online form. He and his staff were concerned about selecting questions fairly and there were issues with getting everyone to submit their questions. This new format will allow to fairness to all constituents.
Questions for the town hall may be submitted by people in line before the event. The questions will be randomly selected and then screened by the moderator to avoid duplicate questions being asked, and then asked by the moderator. The author of the question may have the opportunity to add a personal backstory to the question if further clarification is needed using the traveling microphone held by the MC.
Supplies will be available for writing questions and we will have volunteers working the line in assisting with formulating your questions and getting them submitted into the lottery box. Personalize your questions by telling a story, but keep in mind that there is a time limit. Be specific, sharp, clear, and concise in formatting your question. You may want to practice telling your story concisely, so that you are prepared if your question is picked and it needs a clarification question from the traveling microphone.
Inside the Venue
You can bring your own signs. However, again the venue only holds 300 people, so there is a size limitation. We do not want for signs to become a nuisance to volunteers or your neighbors. The maximum size for all signs is 8.5” x 14” (legal-sized sheet of paper) and must be able to be folded.
We will have stickers available on which to write your zip code. We want to show Representative Yoho that his constituents are here and want to talk with him. We will also have American Flag stickers so that you may show your patriotism if you so wish.
There is no dress code for the event. We do ask that you keep in mind that we are guests of Countryside Baptist Church and that you keep your attire respectful.
Outside the Venue
All parties have agreed to allowing for overflow attendees to protest on the church grounds if they chose to do so. There will be clearly designated protest areas for both the resistance and anti-resistance protesters. The Alachua County Sheriff’s office has graciously agreed to be on hand for crowd control. This is private property so protesting needs to remain nonviolent and be respectful of church grounds. ANY destruction of property of the grounds will result in your immediate removal from the event and property.
Statement on Non-violence
Gainesville Indivisible wants to reiterate our stance on non-violent protesting. We expect members, and anyone in attendance at any event, to stay on task and on message; ignoring agitators, dissenters, and counter protesters.
We do not condone physical violence or threats of violence, and we expect our members to be courteous and cooperative if approached by security or law enforcement.
We will resist peacefully, regardless of any attempts that other individuals or groups might make to provoke us.
If your question is not picked, you still have an avenue of communicating with the congressman. Please bring a letter for Representative Yoho addressing your concerns to the event. We have received a confirmation from the congressman’s office that they will answer each letter.
You can view the town hall live on the different media outlets that will be in attendance, including C-SPAN. Gainesville Indivisible will also live stream the event live from our public Facebook page.
If you are interested in covering the town hall for your news outlet, please be sure to bring your press credentials to the event.
Other possible media outlets in attendance include:
- Gainesville Sun
- The Alligator
- Associated Press